Oil and gas production in northern areas will be an important contributor to securing supply for the growing global energy demand.
With an estimated 25 per cent of the remaining yet to find oil and gas resources in the world located north of the Arctic Circle, these areas will be an important future source of energy. We have built on our 40 years of experience from the rough weather conditions on the Norwegian continental shelf and have secured a strong portfolio in northern regions, with licences in waters offshore Canada, Norway and Russia. We have drilled more than 100 wells north of the Arctic Circle in a period of more than three decades and this experience will be invaluable to us in future developments.
The northernmost parts of Norway are mostly ice-free with well-developed infrastructure, and our activities in the north are in areas with little or no ice.
Production is already up and running from the Snøhvit LNG facility in Hammerfest, which supplies gas to markets all over the world. The Goliat field, where we are a partner, will start producing oil from the Norwegian Barents Sea soon. The Johan Castberg development, also located in the Barents Sea, is being matured towards an investment decision.
We learn from each experience, and continuously develop our competence. Drawing on technology, competence and experience from harsh weather operations, we are approaching the North with a strong focus on safe operations and respect for the environment. Research and development programmes are tailored to meet the technological challenges ahead, such as drilling and production systems, long distance transportation of unprocessed oil and gas, material science, oil spill response and health and working environment in cold climates. Solutions to these challenges will form the basis for new projects, and our portfolio positions us to play a key role in these developments.
In January 2012, members of the international oil and gas industry launched a collaborative effort to enhance oil spill capabilities in the north under the auspices of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP). This collaboration, the Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology Joint Industry Programme (JIP), will expand industry knowledge and proficiency in Arctic oil spill response.